» 12/06/2011, 00.00
Damascus accepts Arab observers, but on conditions
Assad has informed the Arab League of his assent to observers to monitor the situation in order to avoid a tightening of sanctions. However, he also places conditions, which the Arab countries will discuss. Today Hillary Clinton meets with opposition in Geneva.
Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Damascus government has announced that it will accept international observers provided by the Arab plan to solve the crisis in the country, but not unconditionally. The Arab League has threatened to impose new sanctions if the Assad regime does not accept the part of the plan which covers the monitoring of the situation, and has responded to Damascus saying it will study its requests.
The Arab League ultimatum to the Syrian government expired Sunday. Damascus initially rejected the idea of international monitoring, but sent a letter to the Arab League in the late Sunday evening, agreeing to let in observers in if its terms are accepted . "The Syrian government has responded positively to the signing of the Protocol, based on the understanding of Syrian cooperation," said Damascus Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdisi. The Secretary General of the Arab League in Cairo confirmed the existence of the letter, stating that it contained "new demands. We contacted the Arab Foreign Ministers and we informed them. " Consultations are underway.
The sanctions of the Arab League placed 19 senior Syrian officials on the "black list", preventing travel in Arab countries and freezing their accounts abroad, as well as requesting 50% cut in flights to and from Syria and other forms of embargoes. The European Union and the United States are already applying sanctions on Damascus. Meanwhile, the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will meet seven Syrian opposition members in exile today in Geneva. A first meeting had occurred on August 2 last.
"Friends of Syria" arm rebels and sanction Assad
The opposition confirms receiving arms from Western countries. Saudi Arabia decides to arm the rebels and overthrow Assad. France, Great Britain, the United States are pushing for a resolution of the UN Security Council. Hamas sides with the opposition, for an "Islamic Syria". Damascus declares that the Tunis meeting supports "terrorism". Tomorrow the referendum for new constitution.
UN Council for Human Rights condemns Syria
The High Commissioner, Navi Pillay, suggests the possibility of accusing the regime in Damascus of "crimes against humanity and other international crimes." The Arab League calls for more UN observers.
Syrians disappointed by Arab League observers who find the situation in Homs reassuring
Observers do not find anything “frightening” in the city even though 30 people were killed there in the past three days. Human Rights Watch says prisoners are being moved to military bases off limits to Arab League monitors who travelled today to Deraa, Idleb, Hama and locations around Damascus.
Arab League imposes sanctions to stop the killing of civilians in Syria
The unprecedented decision freezes all economic relations between Syria and League members. Meanwhile, clashes continue: 31 civilians and 12 members of the security force killed yesterday. The Syrian regime organises demonstrations in its favour. Russia announces it will send a flotilla of warships next spring to the Syrian port of Tartus.
Damascus: emergency summit and concessions to avoid Arab League suspension
The Assad government in trouble after suspension vote, due to take effect Nov. 16. Yesterday large pro-regime demonstrations and attacks on the embassies of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. More deaths over the weekend in clashes between security forces and opponents.
Pope Francis tells young people that “genuine love” is not a “soap opera”, but Christians’ real identity card
In his homily for the Jubilee of Teens, Pope Francis asked questions and gave answers to the 70,000 present. Stressing the great ideal of love as giving oneself “without being possessive”, he noted that freedom is “being able to choose the good”. He warned young people “who dare not dream,” telling them that “If you do not dream at your age, you are already ready for retirement”. He also received funds raised for the Ukraine, and appealed for the release of bishops and the priests held in Syria.
Odd alliance between the US and Iranian fundamentalists
Washington is still preventing the use of US dollars in transactions with Iranian banks, preventing business with the outside world in spite of the nuclear deal. This way, the US is helping Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, who want to torpedo the agreement in order to maintain their hold on power. Meanwhile, most Iranians hold down two or three jobs just to make ends meet. An unstable and bellicose Iran is a boon for arms sales. A report follows.
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